Chapter 1: Part 1
The clash of swords ringing out from the courtyard was at best a mild nuisance. At worst it caused Magnus Bane unbearable headaches that he was forced to waste magic on. Sometimes he wondered if it was all worth the pain, and while his brain was insistent that he was being stupid, his heart chided him for being a fussy little baby. High Warlock Bane's heart was a bitch. But it was a bitch with strong opinions and good taste.
"Are you going to stop mentally undressing my brother and come join me for tea?" Princess Isabelle also had strong opinions and good taste. She was also the daughter of the King but more importantly she was the sister of one handsome knight. Sir Alexander with bright blue eyes, windswept black hair and a near permanent scowl on his face.
"Well my dear, your brother does wear an awful lot of layers." Magnus retorted, detaching himself from the tower's window from where he was gazing down at the brave knight fighting off Magnus's 'evil' minions. (Evil minions with direct orders not to hurt a single hair on Alexander.) "And most of them are impossible to remove with teeth. I am woe!" He seated himself opposite the dainty little princess whom Magnus knew could kill a man with her bare hands. Appearances were always deceiving. But in Isabelle's case it was a rather severe deception.
"So tell me," He reached out to pour some jasmine tea into her delicate porcelain cup. "Has anyone figured out anything about our little agreement?" He knew Isabelle would never betray his trust, though he had no reason to trust her at first, he had learned to like her since their first encounter about six months ago. When Magnus had kidnapped her with hopes of forcing the king into starting peace negotiations with the Downworld and the Kingdom of Idris. But when the King sent his first born, heir to the throne, Sir Alexander to rescue Isabelle, Magnus felt that maybe letting her go was actually a good idea. If he let her go it meant that he could kidnap her again. The King would send his son to the rescue. And Magnus would get to feast his eyes on the seven course meal that was Sir Alexander of House Lightwood.
"No one," Isabelle shook her head and sipped at her tea. "Which is proving a little problematic." The princess had figured out there was something askew about Magnus kidnapping her frequently only to let her go relatively easily and it didn't take her that long to put two and two together. And to Magnus's surprised delight she had been positively ecstatic about it.
For, in her own words, for the longest time her brother had been notoriously uninterested in ladies of the court no matter how beautiful they were. And she was no fool. According to her there was a lot of longing glances towards Sir Jonathon of House Herondale, the King's ward and Alexander's Sworn Shield. But he had always been notoriously too interested in women as long as she could remember.
"Why's that a problem?" Magnus gazed at the princes, puzzled.
"Because Alec needs to know." The answer was accompanied by a long suffering sigh and before Magnus could reply, Isabelle took over again. "And I have a plan, in a little bit, my brother will be charging up those stairs and once we hear him, I'm gonna lower myself out of the window." She went on gleefully while helping herself to some cucumber sandwiches. "Or better yet you can do it magically and my time is saved but anyway once Alec gets here, the two of you will finally be alone and you, Magnus, shall have the chance to confess your burning desire for my oblivious brother."
"I was going to object, but that is a pretty solid plan," Magnus shrugged and agreed. "The stables are right around that corner, I'll get someone to ready a horse for you."
"So it's settled then!" Isabelle laughed her tinkling laughter and reached out to pinch Magnus's cheek. "Good luck you sly warlock and if I'm not mistaken, that's my brother's mighty footsteps I hear. Time for you to get your magic working!"
Magnus rolled his eyes before snapping his fingers. The familiar blue sparks flew and Princess Isabelle, who had made her way to the window and was already seated on the windowsill, with her feet dangling over the edge rose up in the air. "Out out little princess" Magnus sang out as Isabelle gave a surprised squeak on her unusual route down to the ground. "And thank you for being brilliant!"
Isabelle gave a little wave and skipped her merry way to the stables and just as she disappeared around the corner, door to the room burst open, startling Magnus a little, and in came none other than Sir Alexander, all hot and sweaty and with blood running down the side of his face... wait... blood?
"What happened to you?" Magnus asked at the same time Alexander decided to go, "Where is my sister?" And obviously an awkward silence followed.
"Your sister is safe," Magnus decided to take the bait as Alexander seemed too stubborn to answer first. "You just missed her actually. If you go to the window right now, you will be able to see her galloping away from my evil castle to the safety of your father's."
Sir Alexander wasted no time going to the window and whatever view he beheld seemed to put his mind at ease for a second but he whirled back, his blue eyes focusing on Magnus's cat like ones. "What is the meaning of this?" He almost shouted. "What game are you playing at Bane?" He tried to lessen the gap between the two of them by taking a step that Magnus thought was supposed to be menacing but was stopped short from accomplishing its target when Alexander promptly lost his balance and had to hold on to the chair next to him for support.
"You are wounded," Magnus pointed out calmly. "Let me take a look at the injury. You know my kind has always been gifted healers."
"I don't need your help! I need answers!"
"We can do this two ways Lightwood." The High Warlock smiled. "Either you will stop fussing and let me take a look at your woun-"
"Very well then, you leave me no choice." Magnus sighed and snapped his fingers. The familiar blue sparks flew and Sir Alexander of House Lightwood, dropped to the floor, unconscious and therefor blessedly devoid of further inquiries or heated declarations.
And now finally, time had come for Magnus Bane to work his magic.
Alec woke up to the sweet music of birdsong and distant laughter, and immediately knew something was terribly off. Back at the castle in Idris, he always woke up to the sound of training in the yard; swords clashing, their master at arms shouting at young squires to pick up the pace or angle a sword and maybe the booming laughter of one of his fellow knights. He was used to waking up to a clamor, so waking up to a considerably less hassle and the sounds of nature was odd enough to disorient him.
"Ugh how disappointing," A voice rang out from the corner of the room. "I was hoping you won't wake up. We could have at least seen an end to Bane's ridiculous parade."
Nothing lifts a man's spirit than knowing someone wished you dead, first thing in the morning.
"Where am I?" Alec tried to catch a glimpse of the owner of the voice but his vision was still a little blurry from the sleep. "What happened?"
A long suffering sigh was heard from the corner. Followed by a muttering that sounded suspiciously close to 'mortal imbeciles' and at long last a figure stepped out of the shadows. A dark haired boy, no older than sixteen years, was clad in an all-black outfit. But his tunic bore the insignia of a star, marking him as one of the Night's Children and giving Alec enough context to remember what had happened.
"Bane," He groaned, falling back on to the bed. "What did he do to me?"
"Your virtue is still intact if that's what you are worried about." The young boy smirked and reached out to grab a goblet from a small table and handed it to Alec, impatiently signaling him to drink whatever was in it. "Bane has little self-control, but he exercised it to the best of his abilities with you."
"The same couldn't be said about you, Raphael." A new voice, an irritatingly familiar voice, said. Magnus Bane had breezed into the chamber in all his six foot two, bejeweled, robe clad glory and was glaring disapprovingly at young Raphael.
Raphael's unimpressed stare eloquently conveyed how he couldn't care less.
"How are you feeling brave Alexander?" The notorious warlock shifted his gaze towards the knight on the bed and his countenance underwent a complete change. A smile transformed his sharp features into something softer and his cat pupils had gone from silted to (dare he say, adorably?) blown out. "All healed up, I hope?"
Alec felt himself blush. Now that's something that hadn't happened in a while.
"What happened to me?"
"I accidentally hit you over the head with the hilt of my sword," Raphael answered with a demented sort of glee in his voice. "Then Magnus knocked you out with his magic. Purposefully."
"Only to stop you from getting in my way when I tried to heal you." Magnus assured and waved a bejeweled hand. A chair appeared out of thin air and Magnus gracefully sat down by the bedside, his movements languid and cat like in a way that sent shivers down Alec's spine. There was something about the warlock. He moved with intention but wasn't rigid in anyway. His long fingered hands looked smooth and delicate like those of a highborn dandy who hadn't held any sort of tool or weapon in his life time. But Alec knew all it took was a snap of those fingers to squeeze the life out of man. Bane had a deceptively charming aura about him, like that of a panther; he was pretty enough to look at from afar but a deadly threat under all that lithe beauty and grace.
Alexander Lightwood never expected the day to come where he thought a man who had captured him and was holding him hostage was pretty. But it had come nonetheless.
"I'm just going to leave you two to this very exciting activity of staring at each other," Raphael's drawl brought Alec out of his reverie and he watched as the young boy left the room muttering to himself about 'stupid warlocks and their stupid fixations and their stupid hair.'
"What is the meaning of this?" Alec demanded in his best Lord Commander of the Knights of Idris Voice, which seemed to have little to no effect on the warlock who leaned back on his chair with a smirk and a look of amusement in his eyes.
"I like you," Magnus stated as if it was the most obvious thing in all the realms. "I didn't waste my time kidnapping your sister every other day so I could wreak havoc within your father's kingdom, which I have to add, was a welcome side effect, I did so because I knew your father would send you to rescue Isabelle."
Alec stared at the man in front of him with his mouth hanging open. Somewhere in his brain he heard a voice suggest that he might want to shut it close but the voice was ignored in favor of the loud chorus about how a man was interested in Alec. A tall, elegant, disorientatingly good looking man.
"What?" He managed after what felt like an eternity.
"I think I made myself clear enough."
'Yes, but I just want to hear it again dammit!' Alec thought to himself but out loud he said, "I can't... I'm not... I'm not like that."
Magnus scoffed. "That would have been more convincing if you hadn't spent the last fifteen minutes staring at my face, or if your sister hadn't so readily ratted you out, Alexander."
Alec wasn't aware that today was Call Out Sir Alexander Day. Or that Isabelle was a backstabbing little snitch.
"In any case you don't have to live a lie, Alexander Lightwood," The warlock's voice had an edge of sincerity to it as he moved to take Alec's hand in his. A gesture so gentle yet alien that Alec's first instinct was to pull it back. But he resisted the urge. He had never been so gently treated by another man in his life and it felt so devastatingly right. "You shouldn't hide who you are. It doesn't make you any less of a man or a warrior."
Alec knew his father didn't feel the same. It was a fair guess that neither did anyone else at court. He was the Crown Prince and the Lord Commander of the Knights. He was expected to marry some princess one day and sire children to carry on the ancient bloodline of House Lightwood. He was born into those responsibilities as hundreds of his ancestors had been. If his father had taught him anything in the past years it was that when you are royalty, you put your House and Kingdom before everything else, because neither could stand without the other.
But his father was so far away in Idris and Magnus Bane was right next to him. Tantalizingly right next to him. In fact, Magnus was leaning forward in his chair, closer to Alec than before and his hand was yet to let go of Alec's own. Close enough for Alec to see the green specs in his golden cat eyes, close enough for him to realize that the warlock smelled pleasantly of sandalwood. But his brain had pushed all that aside to point out that he was close enough that if Alec leaned in the teeniest bit, their lips would touch and by the Angel, this warlock had the most distracting lips that had curled up into a most distracting grin.
Maybe he could indulge in a kiss. Just this once. No one would know.
But he shouldn't, right? Maybe this was all just a trick. An elaborate plan to trap him. His mind was running a mile a minute, pointing out all the things that could go wrong and it was worrisome how many scenarios it could come up with within a fraction of a second. Alec swallowed hard and looked down at his hand still cradled in Magnus's thin slender fingers. He hadn't moved at all and all his focus was intent on Alec, silently waiting for him to make his decision.
For a man who made a split second decision to knock Alec out, he really was torturing Alec by not making a move, wasn't he? Alec thought, and halted abruptly. He did wanted Magnus to make a move, didn't he? Was this his heart's way of telling him that maybe he should make the move? Or was he just coming up with an excu-
Alec leaned in and kissed the warlock. Magnus didn't hesitate one second before kissing him back with enough enthusiasm for both of them. The annoyingly paranoid voice in Alec's head gave one final shriek of surprise before going completely silent and Alec smiled into the kiss before breaking away.
"Well, I guess that's my cue to go send your father a strongly worded fire message to let him know that his son is going to be imprisoned in my castle for an extended period of time," Magnus grinned, his voice an octave deeper than it was earlier and a slight blush visible across his cheeks. "I hope he won't send an army to take me down and bring you back home."
Alec shrugged and smirked. "Well, I don't know Bane. Are you ready to fight off the Knights of Idris to keep me with you?" He asked, tilting his head slightly and feeling a little bolder. "I, for one, would love to go down in history as the first ever prince to have a lover fight a war over him."
Magnus laughed, a rich and deep sound that reverberated in Alec's chest. And for the first time in his life, in this little sunlit chamber with a sworn enemy of his father's kingdom, Alexander Lightwood felt that maybe, just maybe, he could dare to hope for the great love story that he knew he deserved.
Hope you guys like it!